I don't mind an arm of the Girl Scouts gathering information. But I do mind a group we associate with Tagalongs, tying knots, and basic life skills -- with protecting the innocence of children in an otherwise hyper-sexualized and politically fraught culture -- doing exactly the opposite. I mind leftist activists at national conventions. I mind faux empowerment laced with the persistent whine of victimization.
Your local Girl Scout troop may be run by traditional God-fearing women who want nothing to do with radical Planned Parenthood seminars, but you should know what's going on at the top. And if you are looking for alternatives, they're out there. In recent years I've encountered the American Heritage Girls, established by a Cincinnati-based former Girl Scout troop leader, which seeks to "Build women of integrity through service to God, family, community and country." And in a country known for entrepreneurship, a few sensible moms can start their own skill-building groups, very far away from the United Nations and Planned Parenthood; anything that allows girls to just be girls.